Quality Proteins w/No Artificial Flavors or Sweeteners

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    Quality Proteins w/No Artificial Flavors or Sweeteners


    I always find it crazy that all these companies catering to people who are extremely focused on maintaining health diets/lifestyles load up their products with tons of artificial crap. I keep waiting for someone to bring out a protein line that does not contain any artificial ingredients. I'd happily pay extra for such a product just as I pay extra to eat exclusively organic meats.

    I've been using Beverly International proteins for the past few years and while I love the taste and the obvious top quality of their product, I really wish there was an alternative that didn't have anything artificial. Even ON' "Natural Whey" contains artificial ingredients, which is incredibly lame and probably even exposes them to some legal risk for deceptive marketing.

    If anyone has any recommendations for 100% natural and healthful protein that still has a quality ingredient profile, I'm all ears.

    EDIT: I just saw that Muscle Milk has a "Natural" version that doesn't appear to have any artificial ingredients at all - http://store.anabolicminds.com/produ...s-2-48-lb.html. It's pretty sad that this appears to be the only option (at least that I've seen so far). Does anyone know if it's any good?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Have you looked in True Protein's natural flavors? They'd probably be your best bet for now, though NP will be carrying an ATW Stevia protein soon...
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    I'm interested in this aswell...
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    I believe Optimum 100% gold standard natural whey is closest thing it has no artifical flavors, colors, or sweetners *from what ive read* this is the ingredient profile.

    Amount Per Serving % Daily Value

    Calories 130
    Calories From Fat 15
    Total Fat 1.5g 2%*
    Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%*
    Cholesterol 30mg 10%
    Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%*
    Sugars 3g †
    Protein 24g 48%*
    Calcium 150mg 15%
    Sodium 60mg 3%
    Potassium 240mg 7%

    Stevia Extract 70mg †
    (Stevia Rebaudiana) (Leaf) (Standardized To 90% Steviosides)

    Enzyme Blend 25mg
    Aminogen« †
    Lactase (Standardized To 100,000 FCC Units/g) †

    Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)

    Tryptophan 405mg
    Valine 1422mg
    Threonine 1654mg
    Isoleucine 1573mg
    Leucine 2531mg
    Lysine 2233mg
    Phenylalanine 748mg
    Methionine 492mg

    Conditionally Essential Amino Acids (CAAs)

    Arginine 505mg
    Cystine 494mg
    Tyrosine 703mg
    Histidine 423mg
    Proline 1509mg
    Glutamine & Precursors 4082mg

    Nonessential Amino Acids (NAAs)

    Aspartic Acid 2508mg
    Serine 1126mg
    Glycine 412mg
    Alanine 1180mg

    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
    † Daily Value not established

    Other Ingredients
    Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Peptides), Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Fructose, Lecithin, Natural Flavor


    Allergen Information: Contains Milk And Soy (Lecithin) Ingredients.
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    The nutrition facts on NP must be wrong for Optimum in that case since it still lists artificial flavors in the ingredients.

    I'm less concerned about sweeteners than I am about flavors. To me the best and healthiest sweetener is unrefined cane sugar, or no sweetener at all (in which case I'd use honey). I just don't like a lot of synthetic flavoring in my drinks.

    I've found some other options but they aren't carried by NP.

    Has anyone ever heard of "Pure Nutrition"? Their ingredient profile is awesome: Microfiltered Whey Protein Isolate, Lo Han Guo Fruit Concentrate, natural Vanilla Flavor, Stevia Extract. That's it... no gums, dextrose, preservatives, fillers, or other crap. 26 grams of protein per serving. It's a bit pricey at $37 for a 2lb tub (30 servings) at the store where I see it, but I don't mind paying more for quality/healthfulness.

    Other options that I've found are:

    MRM All Natural Gainer - 38g of protein/servering, and around $50 for 30 servings (each 3.3lb container has 12 servings). Ingredient profile is decent although there's maltodextrin and fructose in there which I'm not crazy about. Still no artificial crap, some Omega-3 Oils, and good multi-species protein blend. They also have all natural whey and egg protein options.

    Dymatize All Natural Elite Whey - Has anyone tried this? I know Dymatize is a better-known name but I can't rememer if feedback about their protein has generally been good for bad. The price is super-low ($35 for 68 servings!!!) and the ingredients look clean and pretty solid, although it's purely whey with no egg or casein.

    Iron-Tek Essential Natural 100% Protein
    - I don't have time to write an individual evaluation now. Here's what they say about it: Contains a blend of whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate (micellar casein), ultra-filtered/micro-filtered (UF/MF) whey protein isolate, including naturally occurring peptide fractions: alpha-lactalbumin, immmunoglobulins and lactoferrin. Our protein is rapidly assimilated and contains minimum levels of carbohydrate and fat. It's instantized so that it mixes easily without a blender. Essential Natural 100% Protein has a high biological value and a complete amino acid profile rich in branched chain amino acids. Plus, it has high nitrogen retention and increases glutathione production in the body.

    It also looks like they have a solid Amino Acid profile but I'm not expert.

    Bioplex -All Natural Pure WPI - These guys win the prize for shortes ingredient list. Just Whey Protein Isolate (from Milk) and Natural Flavors. That's it!

    Progressive Nutritional Therapies Harmonized Protein - Sounds Very interesting. Here's the info:

    Protein has long been a staple of the bodybuilder's diet. It supports and repairs muscle tissue, enhances metabolic activity, and is used as a fuel source. Whey protein and its incredible benefits has been extensively evaluated, but much less thought has been given to optimizing the quality and purity of protein supplements.

    The Individual Proteins
    Harmonized Protein™ features a synergistic blend of five high quality, New Zealand sourced proteins. Individually, each of the five proteins provide unique benefits: Whey Protein Concentrate has perfectly balanced protein micro fractions and offers exceptional immune support, Whey Protein Isolate has an unsurpassed biological value, Milk Protein Isolate offers prolonged availability of the naturally occurring amino acid cysteine which enhances the production of glutathione, Colostrum is an excellent source of immunoglobulins and supports the production of growth hormones, and Lactoferrin combats free radical damage.

    Imported from New Zealand
    New Zealand has an outstanding international reputation for sustainable agricultural practices. The cattle that produce the milk used to create these unique proteins graze in open pastures and are raised without the use of hormones, including rBGH. New Zealand proteins are considered to be the cleanest and purest in the world. They do not contain antibiotics and are routinely screened for over 250 agricultural and chemical contaminants including pesticides, fertilizers and PCB's.

    Complementary Co-Factors
    While the beneficial properties of the protein are obvious, we are limited by our body's ability to digest, absorb and make use of the protein that we consume. Supplying our bodies with the right nutrients is of little benefit if we are unable to effectively extract and utilize them.

    Harmonized Protein™ is fortified with a blend of co-factors specifically designed to assist and improve the entire absorption process. It's a multi-stage strategy that begins with a group of proteolytic enzymes that improve the breakdown of protein during the early stages of digestion. This is followed by the addition of K-R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (the most stable and effective form) which mimics the effects of insulin and assists the transport of protein from the bloodstream into human cells.

    In Harmony
    Harmonized Protein™ also contains Betula Pubescens and Zea Mays, two botanical extracts that have historically been used to support liver and kidney function, the two primary organs responsible for the processing and utilization of protein. The goal by enhancing liver and kidney function is to maximize protein absorption, minimize digestive loss, and ensure overall compatibility. Organic Mineralized Sea Vegetables as well as Organic Flax Seed Oil have also been included for their added nutritional value.

    Harmonized Protein™ is available in three all natural flavors: chocolate, vanilla and unflavored. It is best taken between meals as a high protein snack, immediately following exercise, or along with a meal to increase the protein content and nutritional value.

    From cattle raised without the use of hormones, including rBGH
    Fortified with a complete array of complementary support nutrients
    Contains no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners


    This is all I have time for now. I'll try and keep updating this. Maybe this thread can become a definitive list of NATURAL protein supplements. In fact, NP may want to think about a new product category specifically for NATURAL products (i.e. no artificial ingredients). This would be a great criteria to be able to search by.
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    Optimum nutrition natural line. I have been buying the vanilla for awhile and now i'm trying the chocolate cause I hear it taste better. The quality of On's stevia isn't the best though.

    NOW makes one too. Looks great just more expensive at $50 5lbs

    Companies really need to get rid of all the crap and use quality stevia. Now uses a high quality stevia.
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    I've researched this quite heavily due to concerns about using so much protein a day that contains sucralose (I currently around 550 grams/day).

    While the taste is not as good with stevia sweetened protein (compared to sucralose) it is certainly much more healthy in the long run.

    Here are the sources I have found for stevia sweetened protein:

    -Trueprotein.com

    -ProteinFactory.com

    -AllTheWhey.com (Cinnamon flavor only). All other flavers use Sucralose. I called them on the phone and verified this fact.

    -Optimum Nutritions "Natural" Line

    -All "Jay Robb" brand proteins

    -Iron-Tek Essential Natural 100% Protein

    Hope this helps.
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    Our ON Natural Ingredients list is actually the 100%, I mentioned this to them months ago lol. Somethings never change it seems.

    Resolve mentioned the ATW w/ Stevia that we're going to be carrying, probably 1-2 weeks away, but I'll say 3 so I'm not behind on my estimate

    Sidenote: I've used Stevia & Sucralose sweetened Cinnabun, and they were almost identical to me.
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    Dymatize makes a natural whey too which isn't bad. I personally like ON's Natural chocolate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azaloth View Post

    Iron-Tek Essential Natural 100% Protein
    - I don't have time to write an individual evaluation now. Here's what they say about it: Contains a blend of whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate (micellar casein), ultra-filtered/micro-filtered (UF/MF) whey protein isolate, including naturally occurring peptide fractions: alpha-lactalbumin, immmunoglobulins and lactoferrin. Our protein is rapidly assimilated and contains minimum levels of carbohydrate and fat. It's instantized so that it mixes easily without a blender. Essential Natural 100% Protein has a high biological value and a complete amino acid profile rich in branched chain amino acids. Plus, it has high nitrogen retention and increases glutathione production in the body.

    It also looks like they have a solid Amino Acid profile but I'm not expert.
    I got a few 5 lb tubs of this, a local supp shop put it on sale for $25. The chocolate, strawberry, and cookies and creme are all really good.
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    With stevia the key is purity. Real pure stevia taste really good and it should only take a pinch to sweeten a beverage. NOW makes a 1oz bottle of USDA organic stevia with minimum 80% glucosylsteviosides that I use for tea, cereal, ext that a tiny pinch will sweeten a beverage quite well. Optimum nutrition makes a bigger bottle of stevia claiming to contain a minimum of 90% steviosides but it takes probably 30x or more the amount to equal NOW's. So I can only imagine NOW's should be good. One of these days i'll suck up the extra 10 bucks that it costs and try it.

    I hate to bash ON because I love their products and have always appreciated their wide line of variety and I have used their protein for years but their Stevia is not good. They need to improve the quality of it.
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    Great replies guys - keep 'em coming! Has anyone else tried any of the other proteins I listed? The one from New Zealand sounds particularly interesting.

    Can the guys who've tried the Iron-Tek and Dymatize blends offer any feedback as to how they compare to ON or other products you've used?

    Thanks. It's nice to see there are other folks out there who aren't keen on the idea of consuming tons of synthetic crap with their protein.

    I spend insane amounts of money to eat all organic but I definitely feel a difference in my general health and training. I almost never get sick or exhausted, even going weeks on little sleep, reduced diet, high stress, etc (generally work related insanity). I haven't even had a common cold in probably 3 years, even when other people around me are sick. I chalk a lot of this up to the fact that I probably have a lot less chemical crap floating around in my body weakening its natural defenses. There's a reason everytime they one of those "Where do the oldest people in the world people on some remote island in Japan where they eat a clean natural "from the earth" diet. The sad thing is that Osaka, which used to have the longest average lifespans in the world, has now losts its position since in the past 20 years McDonald's and other "western-style" restaurants have opened up. Studies have directly correlated this to reduced longevity and health amongst the populace. To think that the norm America, with all its wealth and power, is for most of the populace to blindly consume poison on a daily basis... it's really pathetic. I was recently in Indonesia, a "developing country" and I can tell you that even the poorest of people there eat 10x healthier than the average American.

    Anyway, sorry for getting off track and ranting. It just makes me crazy that it's so time-consuming and expensive to just eat a clean diet in this country. I live in NYC with easy access to hundred of markets, I can only imagine how hard it must be for someone who isn't near a Whole Foods, Farmer's Market, or other source of health, clean, unpolluted food.
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    FYI- Got my 5lb tub of ON's 100% whey natural in chocolate. First time trying the chocolate flavor and it's really good! Way better then the vanilla.. Looks like I'll be buying this one from now ON.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKM775 View Post
    I've researched this quite heavily due to concerns about using so much protein a day that contains sucralose (I currently around 550 grams/day).

    While the taste is not as good with stevia sweetened protein (compared to sucralose) it is certainly much more healthy in the long run.

    Here are the sources I have found for stevia sweetened protein:

    -Trueprotein.com

    -ProteinFactory.com

    -AllTheWhey.com (Cinnamon flavor only). All other flavers use Sucralose. I called them on the phone and verified this fact.

    -Optimum Nutritions "Natural" Line

    -All "Jay Robb" brand proteins

    -Iron-Tek Essential Natural 100% Protein

    Hope this helps.


    Does Protein Factory make a decent protein? I remember reading on another forum that they make their Protein on an old farm. However, the price seemed awfully cheap.
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    For those that have tried both All The Whey vanilla and one of the "natural" proteins, how would you compare the tastes?
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    im interested in more info......whats the big deal? sucralose gonna kill us?
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    Has anyone found pre-workout supplements without artificial sweetners or colors?
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    WHAT has science offered?
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    Nice thread. Im frankly p*ssed as crap with all the Sucralose, Aspartame, and even as of recently Acesuflame-K companys, even bodybuilding companys that are using this crap to sweeten their Protein powders, pre-workout supplements...etc

    Its Ironic that we should try and keep healthy but yet cram these artificial sweeteners into our bodys. Aspartame was passed into law by the FDA as a result of an inside bribe whilst there was information clearly pointing to dangerous health risks, Sucralose, is definately NOT any better, neither is Acesuflame-K unfortunately. I should get writing up some info on these dangers as I studied about them 2 years back...

    Iron Labs (a new recent board sponsor here) has a Whey Protein that has none of this artificial sweetener crap, and only uses Stevia to sweeten it up. Its surprising that bodybuilding companys spend lots of time researching the best ingredients, but yet completely slack when it comes to artificial sweeteners. I think its about time more companys follow Iron Labs and use Stevia.

    if you would like to sweeten up your protein, Stevia combined with Lo Han Guo is a great choice. Stevia on its own is a sweetener that grows on you after some days of usage. I have been using it everyday for 1 and a half years now. Fructose is a crap alternative to try and make products more healthy as this has dangers of its own, its not as natural as you would think.

    Best bet for now i guess would be, just use some quality unflavoured whey protein, with Stevia + some Lo Han Guo or even just Stevia, and get yourself either some Dutched cocoa powder to add in to some flavour, or google up for a company that sells Natural Flavoring powders that you can add to your liking into your Whey if it gets boring. You can get all sorts from Chocolate Fudge to Cookies 'n' Cream. Take your pick

    Edit: Oh, and if you google the right company, you'll find they also Stock a variety of natural colorings that you can order, prices with one company i've found are VERY reasonable, and you dont have to be a company order to make an order, its open for everybody. So...Unflavoured whey which is cheap, some Stevia, some natural flavourings + natural colorings and you got yourself a very healthy, yet tasty protein shake. Screw the artificial sweeteners IMO.

    Hope this info helps somebody.
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    nice post
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    the irontek stuff is great. love it.
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    Thanks for the info on the Iron Tek stuff, protein looks solid, and puts lot of the other companys to shame. Bit pricey, but i'll definately keep this in mind for a future order

    Thanks guys, keep this thread up! and thanks for the reps jdg487
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    Check out the IronMagLab isolate. It is stevia sweetened and quite tasty. Try the straw erry.
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    beef. soo many ppl are hung up on protine being a supp dont wast yer money on protine unless its liver tabs, just buy meat!
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    protein shakes are great b/c most ppl can't pull out slabs of beef every 2-3 hrs at work and eat. i know only get one break to eat and i sneak a can of tuna in later but having another meal would be trouble
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    Now Foods makes a Whey Protein Isolate that is cross-flow microfiltered with no artificial flavors or sweeteners. It uses Stevia. I saw a 10lb bag of it for $69.95 on the 'net.
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    I hope my man still has the 5 lb IronTek Naturals for only $25. I want to pick up some of the chocolate and more of the strawberry, they are soooo good!
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    For $25, you better buy em all. That stuff is great, and $25 is cheap, it's usually ~$40.

    I am tempted to try protein factory whey, $20 for 5lbs. Anyone used it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by poison View Post
    For $25, you better buy em all. That stuff is great, and $25 is cheap, it's usually ~$40.

    I am tempted to try protein factory whey, $20 for 5lbs. Anyone used it?
    no man never used the p factory stuff, yeah I need to pick them all up asap...
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    First off, I would like to thank you all for the time you took to post your recommendations and opinions here. They have been most helpful to my own research.

    I am currently looking for an all-natural protein blend rather than the whey protein isolates / concentrates to supplement at various times of the day, not just when I wake up and post-workout. So far I've found three good options:

    1. Optimum Nutrition Natural Pro Complex
    2. Iron-Tek Essential Natural Protein
    3. Lindberg Protein Blend

    The first one is available pretty much everywhere and it has both whey protein isolates and egg albumin protein (fast and medium-speed assimilation), but is quite expensive.

    The second option, which several of you have already mentioned, only has milk-sourced protein (whey and casein). It is about $15 cheaper than the first option, but a bit harder to find.

    The third option is the only one I've found thus far with whey, casein, and egg protein. It compares in pricing to the second option, but is even harder to find Online.

    If any of you has a better recommendation, please step up. For now, I think I will settle for the second option, since I cannot find the third one on any of the sites I can buy directly from (I live abroad and nutritionexpress.com only takes USA-issued credit cards, bummer).
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    Strong bump, but NOW makes some stuff in a 10lb bag that uses stevia. Its not bad and competitively priced.
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    Would NOT use much else after TrueNutrition...

    Can create whatever ratio % blends you please , sweetener of choice , stevia etc...

    31 flavors like baskin robbins lol

    Quality controlled.

    -Matt
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    Buy BlackStone Labs product and SAVE with matt10


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    Quote Originally Posted by MattPorter View Post
    Would NOT use much else after TrueNutrition...

    Can create whatever ratio % blends you please , sweetener of choice , stevia etc...

    31 flavors like baskin robbins lol

    Quality controlled.

    -Matt
    Top notch for sure, but you pay for quality
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    The price of whey protein has just gotten so out of hand I really don't know if it's worth the cost anymore. After my last post I switched to vitacost.com natural whey protein which uses stevia. The taste is ok but it's all natural. Mixes well. I used that for 2-3 years. The price is now up to $45 for a 5lb tub right now. You can get 45 servings at 20grams of pure whey isolate at swansonvitamins for $24.99. I'd say very competitive. You can look for a coupon online and free shipping. I've never tried this personally but I'am always pleased with swansons products. It doesn't mention any sweetners at all actually, just vanilla flavor. All natural. Has good reviews.

    I made the BIG mistake of getting a 6lb bag of cytosports whey protein from costco a few months back because the price was pretty good. It uses artificial flavoring and sucralose. The aftertaste is probably the worst I have EVER tasted in a protein in my life! Absolutely disgusting. It just lingers with you all day and about the only good thing I can tell you about this is it controls you appetite greatly and probably helped me lose a little weight. That's about it. I will never buy that crap again and don't recommend it to anyone. I basically just switched over to eating a lot of eggs. Up to 10 a day. It is a hassle however. I truly miss just being able to down a quick shake first thing in the morning for some quick energy. For this reason alone I'll probably have to succumb to buying more whey. I'll probably just be doing a scoop in the morning though to preserve it and eat normally the rest of the day. It's hard to argue with the convenience, and nutritional benefits of whey protein. I take it for other reasons then just extra protein and "muscle building".
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    6'0"  215 lbs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaw View Post
    It's hard to argue with the convenience, and nutritional benefits of whey protein. I take it for other reasons then just extra protein and "muscle building".
    That is definitely a very strong point in favor of whey protein, its fast assimilation and overall nutritional value. Problem is that it does not satisfy for long, unlike casein or even egg albumin. This is why I was looking for a compound solution to the problem other than eating oatmeal, lol.

    @MattPorter

    I just went to TrueNutrition's site and gave a Custom Mix a whirl. It's amazing what you can do with their "tools". Notwithstanding that, cost is an issue. For the resulting price, I might as well purchase the ON Pro Complex. I was looking for something in the 50-buck range for 5 lbs of the thing.

    Everything considered, I think I will have to go for Iron-Tek Essential Natural Protein at Vitacost.com. Thank you all for your valuable input!
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